The title of Spaces Of Silence refers to Belgian producer Tour-Maubourg’s tinnitus and this album is thematically based around the ideas of noise and silence: “Silence is a state that I find paradoxically in music, one that allows me not to hear this tinnitus.”
It’s a collection of jazz-tinged downtempo electronica and low-intensity house, with a general overriding mood of slight melancholy, as though the swinging drum patterns and soothing chords were assembled with acute concentration and extreme attention to detail.
At times Spaces Of Silence wears its influences on its sleeve, the crunchy low tempo breaks and sax and flute sample snippets of “Why (Life)” recalling the best of ’90s jazzy trip-hop. Likewise, “La Péruvienne” has that same languid, Mo Wax/St Germain smokey feel to it. Jazz also makes an appearance via Ishmael Ndir’s saxophone solos on 4/4 tracks “You,” a moody slice of soulful house and “Grief,” a stark collection of muted Rhodes, drum machine beats and field recordings.
“I Never Will” is a jaunty post-boogie groover peppered with Stevie-esque synths that builds to its crescendo very nicely, while “Just Believe” matches muffled jazzy drums, mournful vocal samples with restrained pads and synths creating a simple but effective exercise in musical melancholy. The atmospheric “Solaced” continues with the muted, introverted mood, while “La Berceuse Des Vieux Amants” takes the same mournful vibe to an extremely laid-back dance floor.
For me, the only weak moment is the mid-tempo mellow houser “Paradise,” which veers dangerously close to, I don’t know, cocktail house, pool house, mellow house, something like that, but this is a minor quibble. Overall Spaces Of Silences has a pleasingly yearning mood, is familiar enough to be a comfortable listen, but with enough quality playing and attention to detail to lift it above your standard “chill out/downtempo” album.
Tour-Maubourg: Spaces Of Silence LP (Pont Neuf Records / 12″ Vinyl + Digital / January 2023)
1. Tour-Maubourg: Intro (02:41)
2. Tour-Maubourg: Just Believe (03:49)
3. Tour-Maubourg: Why (Life) (03:14)
4. Tour-Maubourg: I Never Will (06:14)
5. Tour-Maubourg: Paradise (05:50)
6. Tour-Maubourg: A Little Bit Of Help (Interlude) (02:07)
7. Tour-Maubourg: L’hiver (04:17)
8. Tour-Maubourg: La Berceuse des Vieux Amants (06:03)
9. Tour-Maubourg: Solaced (03:31)
10. Tour-Maubourg: The Music (Interlude) (01:59)
11. Tour-Maubourg: You (ft. Ismael Ndir) (06:00)
12. Tour-Maubourg: La Péruvienne (02:33)
13. Tour-Maubourg: Grief (ft. Ismael Ndir) (06:40)
14. Tour-Maubourg: Outro (02:14)
⚪️ Disclosure Statement: This record was submitted as a promo.
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